Wahteg Is The Warteg For Millennials Done and Priced Nearly Right

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 | 18:20 WIB
  • Wahteg, elevated warteg done right?
    Wahteg, elevated warteg done right?

    Kitchenesia.com - Everyone knows it and has a love/hate relation with it. Unlike your flashy meet up point or coworking space, Warung Tegal — shortened as “warteg” (a food stall that specifically serves Javanese food) — is not a place to see and to be seen.

    However, it is a place where food and democracy coexist. College students, ojek drivers, police officers and dandy millennials in their 4-wheelers gobble up an assortment of homemade Javanese dishes whose price is budget-friendly to most people. It is not an overstatement that warteg is, without question, the only place where the gap between rich and poor zero. Did we mention that it is budget-friendly?

    There are 30,000 warteg properties spread across Jakarta. I do buy their food. But to be sincere, I barely eat at one of them. I prefer takeaway. It is because nearly all of Wartegs I’ve encountered epitomized their notoriety: unhygienic, humid, and uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just me. But somehow I have a feeling that you’d agree.

    Being a typically small space, warteg is where people munch unattractively, sweat excessively, and smoke heavily. However, in warteg, though your comfort in eating is sacrificed for cheap and fulfilling food, you’d find your true self, your primal self where primordial needs suppress pride and fashion. Your being, your Indonesia.

    That doesn’t stop there.

    Recently, there's a new warteg-like eatery in Tanjung Duren, West Jakarta being the talk of the town. The name is Wahteg.

    Commentaries about Wahteg are ubiquitous on both online and TV, and nearly all of them give this “millennial warteg” good reviews. Whether the term “millennial warteg” exists or not, it tickles my interest to go - and perhaps eat there.

    An assortment of Tegal food at Wahteg, Tanjung Duren
    An assortment of Tegal food at Wahteg, Tanjung Duren

    One Thursday after lunchtime, almost all of Wahteg chairs were occupied by late-lunch diners. It is quite surprising since similar ventures are rampant in this area. To think that one-year-old restaurant outwin its old competitors is pretty unusual.

    Its facade reflects the typical warteg design with glorious big glasses encompassing half of its front side, allowing bystanders to peek inside. The only significant thing of Wahteg is its chic-vintage design, full gradient of pastel green. Wahteg’s design somehow tells me that it would offer relaxing and cool ambience, the one that your original warteg only wish it could have.

    Wahteg Second floor for smoking guests
    Wahteg Second floor for smoking guests

    While the similar design often applies to cafe or casual eatery, you won’t be mistaken it with other types of restaurants. There is a signage in front of it that says “mbetahi lan ngangeni”, a famous slogan of Tegal district that says “Tegal is a comfortable city that makes you always long for it”.

    Sera B
    David Togatorop


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